The Mastercard Foundation, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MInT), and iceaddis have launched a five-year project called Venture Meda that aims to boost job creation in the country by providing startups with funding and acceleration support.

Officially entitled “Job Creation through Incubation and Acceleration Support in Ethiopia”, the aim of the programme is to enable 56,160 young women and men experiencing poverty with access to direct jobs by creating 100 e-commerce startups and 3,240 small businesses.

The programme will also create additional job opportunities for 77,000 young people indirectly, by providing seed funding to at least 100 early and growth stage startups through incubation and acceleration programmes.

Seed funding will be awarded to all selected startups, while 10 companies will receive up to US$50,000. Entry to the incubator is free and open to teams or companies in Ethiopia with an innovative idea, product, or venture that can solve real-life problems.

Applications close on September 25.